What It's Like To Play In The Rose Bowl: A Guide For Our Cal Friends

Having an opportunity to play Cal later this month has surprisingly allowed us Longhorn followers to see that the wounds over 2004 haven't quite healed yet for our friends from the Golden State. Mack Brown's shameless advocacy on behalf of his players -- really, the absolutely most shameful thing a coach could ever do, despite reports to the contrary over the last month or so -- cost the Golden Bears their rightful place in the Rose Bowl in the slot traditionally reserved for the runners-up of the Pac 10.

What's saddened me the most, though, is the implication behind the sound and fury that Cal supporters really expect to have a Rose-Bowl caliber team only every half a century or so. Given that the Golden Bears' last appearance in the Rose Bowl was in 1959, it's entirely possible, given Mack Brown's stealing the Rose Bowl bid away from that once-in-a-half-century Rose Bowl-worthy 2004 Cal squad, that Cal won't be good enough again to earn a trip to the Rose Bowl until 2050 or so.

Think about it: because of Mack Brown, there might be some Cal fans who'll live to the ripe old age of 90 without ever seeing their team play in the Rose Bowl Game.

They'll have no idea what it's like to play in the Grandaddy Of Them All, in that magnificent setting in Pasadena. They'll have no idea what it's like to see your team win a thriller on a last-second play and to see your beloved coach walk off the field victorious.

That's why, BON readers, I thought we'd help our Golden Bear friends out.

Let's let them know, in excruciatingly minute detail, what it's like to watch your team play in -- and win -- the Rose Bowl Game. The sights, the smells, the feelings of exhilaration: let's recount for them what it's like to play in that game, since they'll probably never get there themselves.

Let's live them live vicariously through recounting our experiences in that game -- no, those games! -- that they have never enjoyed and likely will never enjoy in most of their lifetimes.

I'm particularly interested in hearing from those of you, like me, who were in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2005. What was it like that day? How did it feel to watch your team win a thriller in the Rose Bowl Game?

Let's make it up to them by making it feel they were there with us that day. It will wind up having been the next best thing to being there in person themselves!

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